I live in Washington, DC. I will be 29 tomorrow, and it feels hollow to be celebrating another year of life while so many are sick and dying.
I grew up an only child in a very dysfunctional home, and this birthday is reinforcing feelings of isolation. My friends are my family and shaped me in to the person I am today. Without community, I would have never been able to pick up the pieces of a broken childhood and (work toward) creating a healthy adult life. Being away from chosen community during this time is hard. It’s hard to watch friends have parents fall ill and know we won’t all be able to mourn together should the worst happen. It’s hard, when my anxiety disorder and mental illnesses re-emerge, to not have the same life boat of community I have always had.
I’ve tried to channel my feelings of isolation into volunteering and making sure the mostly elderly and black folks in my neighborhood have the tools they need to stay healthy.
On my 29th year I’m grateful I’m alive. I’m grateful my family-both genetic and chosen- has not been decimated by this virus. And I’m attempting to commit to another year of breaking down walls of isolation created by this virus and long-standing social and economic systems thru active solidarity with my neighbors and with those who share my vision of a brighter, healthier and more just future.
Here’s to a future I know will be better.